Platforms: Win, Mac, Linux
Steam rating: 96% positive
I’ve played a lot of puzzle games throughout the years, but most of them have been of the more casual variety. When you talk about puzzle must-plays, well, I haven’t played any of them. Myst frustrated me to no end. Portal is still sitting untouched in my Steam library, despite having owned it for years. I’m coming to the conclusion that maybe I only like the idea of puzzle games, because I’m struggling with The Talos Principle as well.
And really, it’s the puzzles that just aren’t resonating with me. Although I’d be perfectly content to work on the tiling puzzles made up of Tetris-style pieces all day long, the main type of puzzle seems to be made up of a series of electronic devices, switches, and jammers, and in many cases require some fairly precise movements to avoid things that seem to exist solely to blow you into smithereens. It’s not something I can see myself doing over and over for twenty hours or so.
However, if both of the types of puzzles appeal, the package they are wrapped up in exquisite. The Talos Principle looks great, it sound great, and the scraps of story you’re fed oh-so-slowly are fascinating to the point I’m considering trying to push through the puzzling to get to the next little piece of the narrative. It’s that good.
Croteam gets bonus points for putting Motion Sickness Options right into the main menu of the game. As someone who has previously experienced motion sickness while gaming, I decided not to take the risk, and immediately set it to Autoprevent, so I could focus on the game. Although I may not be getting the most realistic experience, being able to actually play the game without feeling ill is mandatory, and something I wish more developers would take into account.
The Talos Principle seems to strike a good balance of puzzles and story, and if the puzzles were of just about any other type, I’d be plowing through the 15-20 hours of game time. Since they’re not, I may seek out a walkthrough for the puzzles, because I’d love to explore the world, pick through the bits of information scattered in the memory banks of the game’s computer terminals, and figure out what exactly is going on here. That said, this seems to be a paring that works well for a majority of players.